by Kazune Kawahara; adapted by Gemma Collinge
published by Viz; $8.99 US
Haruna thinks she’s in love with Fumiya, good friend of her “love coach” Yoh. As soon as she tells Yoh (and his sister Asami) about her feelings, they question her. It’s not pushy or inconsiderate, but they want to be sure she knows what she feels. Maybe she’s just reacting to someone being nice to her when she was feeling down. She’s got to be sure, or the results could get messy.
Given that Haruna can’t even talk to Fumiya on the phone, they might be right. And that scene is the kind of comedy that makes this series so enjoyable. It’s so real. I could feel her shyness, and I’d been in similar situations myself. It’s funny, but it’s not mean. There’s almost a Cyrano de Bergerac-style situation on Haruna’s first date, with Yoh texting her advice (that mainly boils down to “calm down” and “act normal” — good reminders for someone overly nervous).
Working with Haruna may be causing rifts between Yoh and his sister. Asami is told to stay out of things, but when a new wardrobe is needed for Haruna, she’s ordered to share her clothes. Her brother doesn’t believe she wants to help, even though at times she gives Haruna more comforting advice than Yoh does. When she gets bored and feels left out, she schemes in hurtful ways to put herself back in the middle of things. I had no idea she could be so mean; so far, we’ve only seen her as cute and helpful.
That was a misleading attitude that it benefited Asami to project. She’s magnanimous when she’s the queen bee; but her help stops once someone else seems a real threat. That kind of twist provides unexpected depth to the characters, especially once we see inside her motivations.
And good-hearted Haruna takes even pain as a learning experience! I’ve known people like that, but they’re few and don’t come along very often. She’s inspirational in her determination and her optimism. That makes her growth even more believable.
I’ve previously reviewed Book 1.